Type of site
Dream Market was an online darknet market founded in late 2013.Dream Market operated on a hidden service of the Tor network, allowing online users to browse anonymously and securely while avoiding potential monitoring of traffic. The marketplace sold a variety of content, including drugs, stolen data, and counterfeit consumer goods, all using cryptocurrency. Dream provided an escrow service, with disputes handled by staff. The market also had accompanying forums, hosted on a different URL, where buyers, vendors, and other members of the community could interact.
Following the seizures and shutdowns of the AlphaBay and Hansa markets in July 2017 as part of Operation Bayonet, there was much speculation that Dream Market would become the predominant darknet marketplace. Formerly, Dream Market had been considered the second-largest darknet marketplace, with AlphaBay being the largest and Hansa the third-largest. Many vendors and buyers from AlphaBay and Hansa communities registered on Dream Market in the aftermath of Operation Bayonet. Rumors at the time suggested that Dream Market was under law enforcement control.
At the time, Dream Market was reported to have "57,000 listings for drugs and 4,000 listings for opioids".
Dream Administrator and prolific vendor Gal Vallerius was arrested in August 2017, after a border search of his laptop confirmed his identity as online drug kingpin OxyMonster. The equivalent of US$500,000 in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin was also discovered on this device. Vallerius is the subject of an ongoing investigation regarding large online narcotics purchases which began in February 2016.
On March 24, 2019 a banner was added to the Dream Market site announcing its shutdown on April 30, 2019 with the addition that it "is transferring its services to a partner company" followed by an .onion link. Some users believe this to be the owner's reaction to ongoing distributed denial-of-service attacks while others doubt the credibility of the message and suspect a connection to law enforcement, scammers or competing marketplaces.
Shortly after the recent seizures of other markets, the accounts of a number of Dream Market vendors came under the control of Dutch law enforcement.Since no official statement has been released by Dutch authorities regarding this matter, it is unclear how these accounts were compromised, though some researchers suggest that shared credentials are to blame.
On September 13, 2017, Dream users reported the loss of funds from their accounts in posts to forums such as Reddit. In a post to the market's news page, staff later confirmed that a hard drive loss caused the issue and promised to refund the lost funds.[ citation needed ]
Silk Road was an online black market and the first modern darknet market, best known as a platform for selling illegal drugs. As part of the dark web, it was operated as a Tor hidden service, such that online users were able to browse it anonymously and securely without potential traffic monitoring. The website was launched in February 2011; development had begun six months prior. Initially there were a limited number of new seller accounts available; new sellers had to purchase an account in an auction. Later, a fixed fee was charged for each new seller account.
The dark web is the World Wide Web content that exists on darknets, overlay networks that use the Internet but require specific software, configurations, or authorization to access. The dark web forms a small part of the deep web, the part of the Web not indexed by web search engines, although sometimes the term deep web is mistakenly used to refer specifically to the dark web.
OpenBazaar is an open source project developing a protocol for e-commerce transactions in a fully decentralized marketplace. It uses cryptocurrencies as medium of exchange and was inspired by a hackathon project called DarkMarket.
Operation Onymous was an international law enforcement operation targeting darknet markets and other hidden services operating on the Tor network.
Agora was a darknet market operating in the Tor network, launched in 2013 and shut down in August of 2015.
Evolution was a darknet market operating on the Tor network. The site was founded by an individual known as 'Verto' who also founded the now defunct Tor Carding Forum.
AlphaBay Market was an online darknet market which operated on an onion service of the Tor network. It was shut down after a law enforcement action as a part of Operation Bayonet against it in the United States, Canada, and Thailand, reported 13 July 2017. The alleged founder, Alexandre Cazes, a Canadian citizen born on 19 October 1991, was found dead in his cell in Thailand several days after his arrest; suicide is suspected.
A darknet market or cryptomarket is a commercial website on the web that operates via darknets such as Tor or I2P. They function primarily as black markets, selling or brokering transactions involving drugs, cyber-arms, weapons, counterfeit currency, stolen credit card details, forged documents, unlicensed pharmaceuticals, steroids, and other illicit goods as well as the sale of legal products. In December 2014, a study by Gareth Owen from the University of Portsmouth suggested the second most popular sites on Tor were darknet markets.
DeepDotWeb was a news site dedicated to events in and surrounding the dark web featuring interviews and reviews about darknet markets, Tor hidden services, legal actions, privacy, bitcoin and related news. The website was seized on May 7, 2019 during an investigation into the owners' affiliate marketing model, in which they received money for posting links to certain darknet markets.
Grams is a discontinued search engine for Tor based darknet markets launched in April 2014, and closed in December 2017. The service allowed users to search multiple darknet markets for products like drugs and guns from a simple search interface, and also provided the capability for its users to hide their transactions through its bitcoin tumbler Helix.
The Hub is a discussion forum on Tor hidden services on the dark web focused on darknet market reviews, cryptocurrency and security.
Atlantis was a darknet market founded in March 2013, the third such type of market, concurrent with The Silk Road and Black Market Reloaded. It was the first market to accept Litecoin.
The Russian Anonymous Marketplace or RAMP was a Russian language forum with users selling a variety of drugs on the Dark Web.
Carding is a term describing the trafficking of credit card, bank account and other personal information online. Activities also encompass procurement of details, and money laundering techniques. Modern carding sites have been described as full-service commercial entities. Since it is not a crime that is committed online, carding is not a form of crime and often intertwined with other types of e-fencing.
An exit scam is a confidence trick where an established business stops shipping orders while continuing to receive payment for new orders. If the entity had a good reputation, then it can take some time before it is widely recognized that orders are not shipping, and the entity can then make off with the money paid for unshipped orders. Customers that trusted the business do not realize that orders are not being fulfilled until the business has already disappeared.
Hansa was an online darknet market which operated on a hidden service of the Tor network.
Operation Bayonet was a multinational law enforcement operation culminating in 2017 targeting the AlphaBay and Hansa darknet markets. Many other darknet markets were also shut down.
Operation DRYER is a joint operation between the Spanish Civil Guard, Austrian police, and Europol working to shut down labs and organizations which produce designer drugs. Authorities seized over 4.5 million euros' worth of cryptocurrency, as well as 788,606 doses of LSD; these are the largest seizures of cryptocurrency and LSD in European history. The operation was revealed to the public on June 28, 2018.
Dread is a Reddit-like dark web discussion forum featuring news and discussions around darknet markets. The site's administrator goes by the alias of 'HugBunter'.
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